Published: 08:01, 10 September 2016
Deal band Mixed Emotions will be performing at the fundraising summer ball for Kelly Turner.
The Mercury and the Run Ashore Roving Diners Club has organised the event at The Courtyard Oyster Bar and Restaurant in Sondes Road, on Friday, September 16.
The band are husband and wife Sean and Mandy Gaffney, who will perform a variety of songs.
Mandy, 42, started singing when she was 12, with her country-singer dad Graham Christie. He had a residency at the Golden Lion in Dover and Mandy would perform alongside him.
Sean, 47, started playing at 14, and later owned a music shop in Dover, which is where he met his wife of 23 years.
Sean said: “She started coming in everyday and the relationship started from there.
“We started performing as a trio with a friend of ours and a couple of years later it became a duo. We went to play in Spain and then we lived in Tenerife for 18 months and played in bars there but mostly we have played in pubs and clubs in Kent.”
The band has now been together for about 26 years.
Sean said: “For Mandy, it was in the blood from her dad. We’re both still very motivated to learn new songs.”
Mandy started as a country singer but over the years her style has changed and now they play a much more varied mix of genres.
In years gone by, the pair would hand out leaflets after their gigs but now it’s all about having a social media presence and networking. Mandy and Sean, of Delane Road, moved to Deal nine years ago from Tenerife.
They have four children, the oldest of which is drummer Kieran Gaffney, 20, who came third on Britain’s Got Talent in 2010.
His parents also performed on the ITV show but it was the young Kieran, then 12, who caught the judges’ eyes and has since been touring with winners of the show, dance troupe Diversity.
Sean said: “He’s just finished at Butlins with Diversity. It’s been a lot of travelling so he’ll rest for a while and then he’ll probably miss it.
“Being a drummer on his own is quite difficult. You’re in work and out of work. He’s had a lucky platform on the show but after that it’s more difficult – but that’s a musician’s life. It’s not stable.
“We do it because we love it.”
Kelly, 16, hopes to raise $1.2 million for lifesaving surgery in America after she was diagnosed with Desmoplastic small round cell tumour (DSRCT) last October. She needs the treatment within 18 month to survive. Mixed Emotions met her for the first time on Monday, August 29, when they played a charity gig for her at the Lord Nelson in Dover.
Sean said: “We wanted to do something for her. It’s a lot of money she needs but we hope she will get there.”
One of Sean’s earliest influences is Bryan Adams and he praised his efforts in fundraising for Kelly at a recent concert in Canterbury.
He added: “She needs someone like Simon Cowell, some billionaire, to help and donate to her. It does make you think there are a lot of rich people in the country.
“It wouldn’t be much to them but would mean everything to her.”